The current buzz word for adapting your business to the needs of your customers is “pivot.” This concept is nothing new, of course. Terms used in the past for the same idea include “change,” “adapt,” “shift,” and so on.
Yet, as much as Pivoting seems to make sense, it is only half right. It leaves out a “pivotal” element. For your business to truly excel it must “Align.” Yes, you must adapt to what the customer wants, but at the same time you must also ensure that the actions you take further distinguish your business as unique from your competitors, and serve a purpose that you (and your team) are passionate about. If your “pivot” makes you look like everyone else, the competition will just get stiffer. And if your “pivot” doesn’t line up with your values and your mission, implementing it will be difficult, if not impossible.
Moral of the story? Don’t pivot your way into hating your business. Figure out what your customer wants that also aligns with your business mission, and you are on the path to success.
Great point Mike! it is very easy to go with the cliches that in the business world, mostly the corporate world promotes all the time without understanding the real implications on applying those cliches such as “adpating to change”. This concepts, even if they can be considered universal best business practices, are wide concepts that are not easy to implement in a small business and more easy to get confuse trying to make them workg with out a clear guide and path on how to implement them in a small company.
In looking back on my own highs and lows in my business, I can see that the times I’ve lost my enthusiasm have been when I’ve pivoted away from my passion for what I do. I also see this with my clients in their businesses. It’s fun to help owners pivot back into alignment!
In basketball, you can pivot all day, as long as you don’t move your pivot foot. The pivot foot = your core values. If you move away from them, you get called for a foul – every time!
Really appreciate this post and the distinction between pivot and align. Ang being a big sports fan, I love Fred Pieplow’s comment above!